The rigors of cancer are well understood by Deborah K. Walker, DNP, CRNP, AOCN. At the same time, Walker also knows about treatments and treatment teams that can successfully fight cancer.

UAB School of Nursing faculty member Walker participates in care for breast cancer and lymphoma patients as part of her faculty practice at UAB's internationally renowned Comprehensive Cancer Center.

As a nurse practitioner with a doctorate in nursing practice (DNP), Walker works with fellow health professionals who use the best evidence for the good of their patients. This means they carefully evaluate treatments based on evidence from research studies.

"The doctorally prepared nurse practitioner can provide the patient with that extra level of quality care," said Walker. Regarding treatments that patients receive, Walker said that she and others on treatment teams "are educated to critically evaluate the evidence that's out there."

The experience and expertise of Walker and her colleagues were a comfort to breast cancer patient Susan Forehand of Hoover after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011, thus following in the footsteps of her grandmother, mother, and sister in having that diagnosis. Forehand recalled all too well how, as a teenager, she lost her mother to breast cancer. With her family history of the disease, Forehand was drawn by UAB's excellent reputation and found herself leaning on Deborah Walker for guidance in how to make the most of UAB's powerful resources.

"Debbie was so responsive," said Forehand. "She knew how to help me navigate the system."

As much as cancer patient Forehand appreciates nurse practitioner Walker, the opposite is also true. Seeing Susan Forehand receive the care she needs is a gift to Walker, who said, "I believe that Susan and I were meant to go on this journey together."

Several years ago, when Walker was planning her career as a nurse specializing in cancer care, or oncology, she selected progressive UAB as where she wanted to work because, as she noted, "UAB is on the cutting edge."

In joining the faculty at the UAB School of Nursing, Walker said she found an exciting professional home. "Being on the faculty of the UAB School of Nursing has become my dream job," she said. Through her UAB faculty practice, Walker has an opportunity to take care of patients, such as Susan Forehand. Too, she can participate in UAB research, including working on clinical trials of some of the newest anti-cancer drug treatments. And, very important to her, she has the opportunity to teach, helping to educate nurses of tomorrow. She thrives on teaching cancer care to nursing students. "I love to educate nursing students," she said. "I love to see those 'aha moments' in students' eyes."

Leadership Positions

Student Leadership Positions

The School of Nursing has leadership positions for students enabling them to participate in the operations and decisions made through the school’s committee process.  The students serve on these committees for a one-year term that begins during the fall. Nominees must have at least two semesters remaining in the nursing program to be eligible.

Students serving on School of Nursing Committees 2016-2017:

Faculty Practice:  MSN - Caleb Gray  |   Doctoral - Debby Bowers

Curriculum: BSN - Sameera Rajpari |  MSN -Ashlee Bennett

Support and Recognition: NGSA - Billy Alexander  |  SNA -Julia Solomon

Evaluation: BSN -Eric Nguyen  |  MSN - Heather Hyde  | Doctoral - Jennifer Bail



Student Nurses Association (SNA) 

The UAB Student Nurses Association (SNA) promotes and upholds high professional standards, aids in the professional growth and development of students, promotes professional and social unity among nursing student Membership in the UAB-SNA is open to students in the School of Nursing at UAB. Membership in the UAB organization also provides for membership in the Alabama Association of Nursing Students, as well as the National Student Nurses Association.



Nursing Graduate Student Association (NGSA) 

The NGSA serves the graduate nursing students at UAB by helping to help promote academic and professional success while fostering a sense of community among the student body.  All students who are actively enrolled in a graduate program of study in the School of Nursing automatically enrolled as members of the NGSA. National or state affiliations? Not at this time, they are just getting started.



Sigma Theta Tau – Nu Chapter 

As a knowledge and leadership organization, the honor society of nursing -- Sigma Theta Tau International --  responds to health- and nursing-profession trends and issues that are germane to its mission. The UAB chapter (Nu Chapter) was chartered in 1958, the 12th chapter to be chartered by STTI.


Honors Program

Honors Program 

F. A. Q. The Nursing Honors Program is for undergraduate students and provides service-learning experiences that engage students, faculty, and staff with the community to identify and meet community needs and to enhance academic and civic learning.



HIV team new shot HR

If you are passionate about nursing and want to make a lasting and positive impact on the health of our state, consider making a transformational gift to the UAB School of Nursing. Your gift will help establish new and better ways of providing excellent, compassionate care and educate nurses who will lead this change. You may write a check, but there might be a more effective way for you to give through appreciated securities, property or other assets you own. Many donors find that with careful planning, they are able to make a much larger contribution than they ever thought possible and also fulfill personal financial goals in the process. For illustrations and more detailed information, visit UAB Planned Giving website

Outright Gifts

  • Enables the School to immediately begin addressing the current obstacles standing in the way of progress
  • Gives donors the opportunity to see the results and benefits during your lifetime
  • Can provide you the benefit of an income tax deduction, capital gains tax avoidance, and/or federal estate tax reduction 

Appreciated Securities

Can be used to make an outright gift or to fund a life income gift
Provides an income tax deduction for the full fair market value of securities held for more than one year; may eliminate capital gains taxes

Gifts of Real Estate

  • Can be given outright, placed in a trust or given through your will
  • Provides an income tax deduction for the full fair market value of the property
  • Eliminates capital gains taxes on the appreciation; reduces your taxable estate
  • Frees cash that would have been used to pay taxes

Charitable Gift Annuity (A gift that pays you income)

  • Provides fixed payments for lifetime (for one or two people)
  • Initial gift is partially tax-deductible; payments are partially tax-free
  • Payments are not affected by ups and downs in the economy
  • If funded with appreciated stock, capital gains taxes may be eliminated
  • $10,000 minimum contribution; must be 55 or older; can defer payments

Charitable Remainder Trust (A gift that pays you income)

  • Enables donor to make a substantial gift, receive a life income and current tax deduction
  • Donor may receive a fixed dollar amount payment (Annuity Trust) or payments based on a fixed percentage of the January 1 market value (Unitrust)
  • Donor receives immediate charitable tax deduction equal to the present value of the gift as determined by life expectancy tables, and assets in Trust avoid inheritance tax
  • Can be funded with cash, securities, or real estate (recommended minimum funding is $250,000)
  • No age limit, but typically benefits an individual nearing retirement, a retired couple/individual between ages 60 and 75; an individual over age 75; a single person over age 80; and/or someone supporting an elderly parent

Charitable Lead Trust (A gift that also provides for your heirs)

  • Enables donor to fund an endowed chair, scholarship, faculty position, building renovation or research project while transferring sizeable assets to heirs with significant tax benefits
  • UAB School of Nursing receives annual payments (either fixed or variable) for a predetermined amount of time after which the remaining assets go to the beneficiary
  • Donor receives charitable tax deduction equal to the present value of payments to UAB based on the time value of money; taxed with net income and capital gain produced within the Trust but can deduct payments made to UAB
  • $1 million minimum is recommended

Life Insurance

  • Donor may assign ownership of a current policy to UAB or may purchase a new policy and name the UAB School of Nursing as beneficiary
  • Allows donor to make a substantial deferred charitable gift at a relatively low cost
  • Especially affordable for young donors; may be handled by contacting your insurance company

Retirement Plan Assets (An IRD asset)

  • Allows donor to make a substantial gift and significantly reduce tax burden for heirs (subject to double taxation, effectively a rate of 70%, on amount passed to an heir)
  • Owner can take taxable distribution from the plan, and then give remaining proceeds to UAB (distributions subject to ordinary income taxation, but may be offset by charitable tax deduction)
  • Donor may assign UAB School of Nursing as the beneficiary either in full or as a percentage of the total plan; may be handled with a “Change of Beneficiary” form from your insurance company
  • If UAB is the full beneficiary, donor avoids income tax and estate taxes (the charitable deduction offsets any estate tax due)

 Insurance Annuities (An IRD asset)

  • Allows donor to relieve heirs of income tax burden (unlike life insurance, the beneficiary is responsible for paying income tax on the growth of this asset while you owned it)
  • Donor may assign the UAB School of Nursing as the beneficiary either in full or as a percentage of the total plan
  • May be handled with a “Change of Beneficiary” form from your insurance company

 Will Bequests

  • Donor makes provisions in his/her Will or Trust Agreement to include the UAB School of Nursing (or specific nursing program/focus area of their choice) as a beneficiary
  • The gift can be a specific dollar amount, a specific asset, or a percentage of the estate
  • A charitable tax deduction is applied to the estate in the amount of the bequest
  • Allows donor to direct their estate assets to charitable programs and organizations that are important to them, leaving a legacy of caring
  • Charitable bequests to UAB School of Nursing should be made in the name of the Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama System for UAB for use by the School of Nursing (and/or any specific program therein)
  • Please indicate whether or not your bequest may be used to create an endowment
  • The UAB Office of Planned Giving can provide sample language for bequests

Please consult your tax and/or estate planning professional to determine which gift methods are best for you. UAB is a non-profit organization under IRS tax code 501(c)(3).